Since the United States encompasses such a huge land area as well as a diverse range of climates and environments, it is possible to plan an incredible number of vacations right within the country. After all you can spend the summer on the beaches of California, travel to see beautiful fall colors in the New England states, move through to Colorado for some outstanding skiing in the winter then vacation in Florida in the early spring. There are also the border states of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico if you want warmth virtually year round.
The United States, as with Canada, tends to be less dog friendly than Europe or the United Kingdom, although this is rather rapidly changing, especially in the major cities and metropolitan areas. As consumers request more accommodations that offer pet friendly rooms, hotels from family accommodations due to luxury resorts have responded. Generally most cities in the United States provide some dog friendly areas and hotels, making vacation travel relatively easy with a bit of research.
When traveling in the United States, particularly if you travel out of your home state, be sure to bring vaccination records for your dog. This can be important for several reasons, plus it is essential for the vet to have in the event of some emergency or illness. Make sure your pet is on a heartworm medication prior to traveling and also make sure their flea treatment is up to date. Find out about any health risks in the area you are traveling to and talk to your vet about any treatments or vaccinations you should consider to prevent your dog from becoming sick or picking up a virus on your travels.
If you are planning on traveling to campgrounds, resorts or RV parks in the United States most are clearly posted as to their rules and regulations with regards to dogs. Internet sites generally list the dog issues within the specific campground or park. Typically most campgrounds and RV parks accept well-behaved dogs within the campground. Dogs have to be leashed or restrained at all times and are not allowed off-leash within the area.
The New England states, in particular Boston and the surrounding area, tend to be very pet friendly cities and coastal areas. Many of the luxury hotels are welcoming to well behaved dogs of all sizes and there are numerous off-leash parks throughout the city. Walks along the coast are also possible with your dog, however they are not allowed on public beaches. Boston is also one of the few cities that allows dogs on the subway system. Dogs have to be leashed and well-behaved and it is not recommended to travel with your dog during morning and even rush hours due to crowds on public transportation.
New York City also offers a wide range of vacation options if you have a dog. Central Park is open to dogs on leash and there are areas in the park that are designated for human use only. Dogs must be on a leash while in the park unless in off-leash designated areas.
San Diego is one of the most friendly dog cities on the west coast. There are specific dog beaches that allow for both leashed and off-leash dog access, which is terrific for dogs and their owners. In some areas there are even distinctions between those off-leash areas for small dogs, providing extra peace of mind for the owners of small and toy breeds. Dog Beach, as it is affectionately known, is one of the few areas in the United States that allows your pet to actually get a chance to play in the ocean within the confines of a managed beach. This is an off-leash area and owners are required to clean up after their dog and ensure their dog is following all the posted park rules.
Fiesta Island is a uniquely maintained, separate island that is located just off the coast. There are over 5 miles of maintained pathways on the island, and the majority of people you see on the island are dog lovers with their pets. As with any park or off-leash areas owners are required to pick up after their dog and keep the space clean and free from waste and litter.
Austin, Texas is the capital city of the state but also one of the most dog friendly cities in the southern part of the country. In Austin there are 12 different designated off leash areas, with rural areas around the city offering literally hundreds of places to explore and walk. Within the dog off-leash parks as well as on-leash dog areas of the city there are "Mutt Mitt" boxes that provide free bags for owners to clean up after their pets. Austin hotels, both in the city as well as in the surrounding areas, will indicate if they are dog friendly or not. Some outdoor restaurants and cafes may allow dogs in designated areas of the patio or outdoor sections. Call ahead and ask when in doubt.
Throughout the United States there are also many local, state and national parks that offer camping, hiking and trekking options for owners and their dogs. In general dogs in these areas should be leashed at all times although in the more remote areas this is often not a concern since you may be the only people on the trail or in the area. Owners do have to keep in mind that in wild areas of the United States there is always the possibility of encountering wildlife that may not be dog-friendly. Snakes and wild predator animals can be found in these remote areas, so be sure to keep your dog in sight at all times and have them fully under command.
The internet has made traveling with your dog much easier since you can check out various accommodations, parks, events and activities to determine if they are dog friendly. When booking accommodations you should call ahead to verify they are dog friendly as sometimes policies change and internet information is not up dated or modified. Typically chain hotels have standard policies but privately owned properties and accommodations can really vary.
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